Declawed: Sooners Stun 'Cats


Ryan Humphrey's tip-in with 10 seconds left gave Oklahoma a stunning 61-60 victory over fourth-seeded Arizona on Friday at the NCAA Midwest Regional the Wildcats' fourth opening-round loss this decade to a big underdog.

Humphrey's winning basket came after Eric Martin missed a 3-point shot and Eduardo Najera missed a followup layup for the Sooners (21-10). Humphrey then grabbed the ball and put it back in to put Oklahoma up 61-60.

Arizona (22-7) had a final chance, but Jason Terry missed a fallaway 10-footer with three seconds left and A.J. Bramlett missed a putback as the buzzer sounded.

The 13th-seeded Sooners, who had lost their last five first-round NCAA games, stormed the floor, hugging each other and jumping around. Terry, the Pac-10 player of the year, watched in disbelief.

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  • Arizona won the national title in 1997, but the Wildcats have often stumbled in the first round. They lost their first game as the No. 3 seed in 1992, No. 2 seed in 1993 and No. 5 seed in 1995.

    Although the Wildcats have been in the tournament every year since 1985, they've failed to get out of the first round seven times during that period.

    Oklahoma will play fifth-seeded North Carolina-Charlotte in the second round. The 49ers defeated 12th-seeded Rhode Island 81-70 in overtime earlier Friday.

    Richard Jefferson's layup with 1:44 left gave Arizona a 60-56 lead, but Bramlett blew a chance to extend the margin when he missed two free throws with 1:02 remaining.

    The Sooners took the ball downcourt and Najera who finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds hit a 3-pointer from deep in the left corner to cut Arizona's lead to 60-59 with 48 seconds left.

    After Oklahoma called a timeout, Arizona made a huge mental error on the inbounds play. Michael Wright, the Pac-10 freshman of the year, went to inbound the ball, bu Terry turned his back and Wright couldn't keep himself from falling over the line.

    Wright led the Wildcats with 16 points. Terry, who was scoreless in the first half, had 15.

    Oklahoma trailed by as many as six points in the first half, but rallied to tie it 44-44 on Humphrey's two free throws with 10:14 left. The Sooners took their first lead of the game, 49-46, on Najera's 3-pointer with 8:01 remaining.

    But Arizona came back behind Terry and Bramlett, two players left from the 1997 title team. Terry hit two free throws, and Bramlett converted another pair to extend the margin to 58-54 with 2:19 left.

    Oklahoma refused to go away, though. Najera fed Humphrey for a dunk that made it 58-56 with 2:01 left before Richard Jefferson answered with a layup for Arizona.

    The Sooners won the game with their outside shooting. They were 10-of-25 (40 percent) from 3-point range, including 7-of-14 in the second half.

    Arizona shot only 33 percent from the field, including 4-of-17 by Terry.



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